Offering Both Outstanding Customer Service and Customer Experience to Make your Property Highly Stand Out

Are you a hotelier willing to exceed your guest’s expectations? You might be a passionate hotel professional eager to create memorable guest’s stories and offering the most delightful moments. Then, you should ensure to deliver both excellent customer service and customer’s experiences. Indeed, customer service is an important piece of the puzzle when building a customer’s experience. Customer service is one main element of the whole customer journey while customer experience includes all the different interactions that your guests have with your brand. Both concepts are usually mutually applied by properties that want to highly distinguish in the market. Those practices can be considered as the beating heart of any hotel. If you sum up both practices, you will be able to reach new heights when serving your potential and existing guests. You will be able to make a real difference in people’s lives which might certainly be your everyday’s goal.

How to Best Define Customer Service in the Hotel Industry?

Customer service is defined by the actions you take to meet your guest’s needs and accommodate their requests in a timely, professional and helpful manner. It is the process of delivering a high-quality assistance to your guests before, during and after their hotel stay. The objective is to respond to your guest’s desires to attain the highest customer satisfaction. It embraces the “human” touch in the customer journey. Outstanding customer service involves demonstrating value and genuine care to your guests. It also requires showing your hotel amenities and offer’s knowledge and possessing a set of skills such as patience, perseverance and tenacity. It is the voice your guests will acknowledge as a representation of your hotel. Thus, maintaining customer service standards is essential to enhance the perception your potential and existing guests have towards your hotel. It is all about making your guests feel special as individuals through very unique interactions.  This could be done by establishing a customer centric culture among the team across the different departments. In order to be successful, your guiding principle should be directed towards meeting your guest’s needs rather than being only sales-driven.

How to Best Define Customer Experience in the Hotel Industry?

Customer experience is broader and constitutes of all the different interactions your guests have with your property’s representatives. It is all about the feelings your guests develop towards your brand as they connect with your business at all phases of the customer journey. If you are willing to offer a unique customer experience to your guests, you must learn how to anticipate their needs for the most customizable moments. Indeed, personalization is at the core of delivering a unique customer experience. The more you will engage with your guests and surprise them according to their preferences, the more you will distinguish to their eyes. The customer experience is present in the different touchpoints your guests are exposed to from the marketing campaigns, booking process, room’s check-in and check-out experiences, hotel amenities usage, post-stay interactions, to the service at its entirety.

Here is a graphic posted on the website of the Hospitality School Les Roches illustrating the concept of positive and negative customer experiences of a hotel guest:

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The blog of the Hospitality School “L’Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne” also share an example of a unique customer experience which is shown below:

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As you can see from both examples, a memorable customer experience is all about being familiar with your guest’s needs so you can amaze them with the most thoughtful and personal attention. In this way, you are able to exceed your guest’s expectations and leave them with long-lasting memories from their experience.

Implementing Forbes Training to Offer Seamless Customer Service leading the most Unique Customer Experience:

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If you want your brand to distinguish in this intense market, it is essential to offer quality training to your front and back-of-the house hotel staff to offer service consistency. If you want your property to be recognized for your service excellence, you should consider applying for Forbes Travel Guide rating and ultimately become a Forbes Five Stars property. Indeed, Forbes Five star training is one of the most effective customer service guide in the hotel industry. Forbes mention several standards to maintain to qualify which are the following:

  • Welcoming guests warmly
  • Calling guests by their names
  • Being gracious
  • Being polite
  • Recognizing each guest as unique
  • Thanking the guests
  • Treasuring the loyal guests
  • Listening and showing empathy to the guests
  • Recording guest’s preferences and requests
  • Anticipating guest’s needs
  • Serving guests immediately
  • Guiding guests in the right directions
  • Always offering alternatives instead of saying no
  • Speaking in full sentences

Forbes also suggests all the manners to keep during the exchanges with the guests to make them feel valued as followed:

  • Speaking in full and clear sentences (e.g: “May I be of further assistance regarding your dinning reservation?”. Avoid using fillers such as “uh”, “um” by being knowledgeable about the hotel departments and offerings).
  • Using formal verbiage (e.g: “Absolutely”, “Definitely”, “Certainly”. Never using slang and inappropriate wordings such as “you guys”, “no problem”).
  • Showing sincerity and being natural and spontaneous.
  • Never interrupting the guests.
  • Listening carefully to guest’s requests.
  • Leaving the guests with outstanding farewell by using the most customized and gracious closing remarks. (e.g: “Thank you so much for choosing to stay with us. We cannot wait to welcoming and delighting you again in the near future”.
  • Always offering further and anticipative assistance (e.g: “Is there anything else I can assist you with such as coordinating with the concierge service so they organize your visit of the city”?).

Applying all these customer service standards will then allow you to offer the most memorable and personalized customer experience that will leave your guests with lifelong impressions of your hotel.

In sum, customer service and customer experience complement each other and are essential to your hotel success. Indeed, your property will only stand out if you are able to offer both excellent customer service and customer experience. Applying excellent customer service standards and demonstrating the most genuine attention to your guests will boost your customer loyalty. People will be looking forward to their next visit and you will sustain the most profitable customer lifetime value. Do not leave money on the table and start using your creativity to offer the most unique customer service and customer experience that will be exclusive to your property. As you will be recognized for delighting your guests to another level, people will be thrilled to book a stay at your hotel and your revenues will be the highest ever recorded!

If you want to learn more about the latest trends in digital marketing in the hotel industry, please visit my previous article in the following link:

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Personalization is a Must in your Hotel Digital Marketing Strategies

If you are looking to drive significant revenues to your property, you should consider implementing personalization techniques in your digital marketing initiatives. Several research have shown that people are increasingly looking to book a stay in hotels that offer personalized experience. There are several ways you can practice personalization in the world of digital.     You might be wondering how you can create experiences that will be remembered by your hotel guests in your digital marketing techniques. There are many hotels leading the way offering one-of-a-kind experience from data-driven personalized ads, food and beverage or concierge AI systems and so on…

Why is Personalization Important in your Marketing Strategies?

Personalization is crucial if you want to be a successful hotelier as you will be accommodating the guests based on their preferences and needs. It involves crafting personalized messages in your marketing campaigns. You will make each of your guests feel like a VIP as you will be responding to their desires. This is the way you can make your guests feel special and as a result motivated to stay at your hotel. In order to be able to offer such personalized experiences in your digital marketing strategies, you must be very knowledgeable about your target audience. You should take advantage of your guest’s data coming from your social and digital platform to create customized experience and become the property of people’s choice.

Examples of Hotels that Standout With Personalized Digital Marketing Initiatives

Library Hotels is an example of a hotel chain that has launched a novel approach to hospitality through offering unique personalized experience to its guests. One of the strategies they use is to send a digital form requesting to share the reason for traveling. Then, the hotel sends the guest links in which they can purchase experiences according to the goal of their guest’s trips. It is a simple gesture but it really shows genuine care to people who look forward for their visits.

AccorHotels has launched a chatbot in Facebook Messenger so-called Mercure Bot that allows people to explore their hotels all around the world. It also offers a digital concierge service that allows interactions with guests and guide them in their travel. Thanks to this chatbot, the hotel corporation has been able to track their guest’s locations and details that no human can get. The valuable insights gained from the bot has helped AccorHotels to make uniquely tailored recommendations to its customers and gove above and beyond their expectations.

Best Western has designed interactive ads on its social media platforms powered by AI technologies. People exposed to the ads are encouraged to answer series of questions that trigger people to consider booking a trip thanks to recommendations shared in the ads. Those ads give the opportunity to start conversations with guests by sharing information on potential upcoming travels according to their needs. Those ads gives the possibility to do a virtual tour in the different properties, learn more about the amenities offered and book a hotel stay.

Virgin Hotels decided to create an app for its guests after they conducted investigation and found that most of the travelers remain connected in their smartphones while on a trip. Based on their findings, the hotel corporation’s marketing executives designed an app called Lucy. This mobile app allows to proceed with check-in, restaurant reservations, in-room dining ordering, room temperature change, etc. They also developed a program called The Know encouraging direct booking to obtain the lowest rates, upgrades and unique service personalization. Guests also have the ability to record their preferences in the app. For instance, they can enter their allergies or dietary preferences or restrictions, their pet preferred treats, their favorites items to be stocked in the minibar and so on. As a result, Virgin Hotels has been successful offering undifferentiated experiences to their guests. Indeed, all these guests data collected thanks to the app allows them to surprise their guests in each stay at their properties.

Hotels have been constantly innovating to offer the most personalized experience to guests. This digital era offers countless opportunities to offer high-touch customer service in high-tech environments. If your hotel wins in the digital personalized marketing contest, you will highly differentiate in this competitive industry and gain important market share. In all your digital marketing initiatives, make sure to offer the most personalized and convenient communications to impress your guests. As you will be creating insights-driven digital marketing material, you will be able to contribute to your guest’s happiness and increase their loyalty. It is time to start this game to create an impact in the industry and become a successful hotel marketer more than ever!